After defeating his opponent in a special election in March to replace Steven Labriola, who vacated the seat to be Oyster Bay town clerk, incumbent Joseph Saladino lobbied for legislation that seven months later has already become a law, an accomplishment he claims "almost broke records" in the 12th AD.
The bill, which passed the Assembly almost unanimously, requires manufacturers to prominently label mercury-added products for recycling and disposal purposes, and Saladino said it is indicative of his commitment to protecting the environment.
"There are a lot of cases of cancer on Long Island," Saladino said. "Protecting the environment from carcinogens, heavy metals, and pollutants, and ensuring that our quality and quantity of drinking water is preserved for many generations, is of utmost importance to me."
Saladino, who is also running on the Conservative and Independence lines, accused the Democratic Party of taking Long Island taxpayer's money to fund New York City. "A change in school aid formulas is necessary in order to take into account the regional cost of living," he said. "Everyone knows it is much more expensive to live here, therefore we need much more state aid."
Working with state senators, Saladino claims he was able to get increases in school aid to all of the districts to offset the property taxes, as well as a $125,000 grant that, together with Senator Charles Fuschillo, he was able to bring to the Village of Massapequa Park. He said he has also successfully worked with the governor to bring sizable grants to libraries in the district.
"Because I am member of the same party as our senators, I am able to work together to provide more for our districts."
Protecting women and children from sexual abuse and pedophiles is another issue that is important to Saladino. Among the bills he has introduced is legislation that would make public juvenile sex offenders' records. He also plans to introduce legislation that would prohibit sex offenders from living near their victims.
"Seventeen years of government experience and a lifelong commitment of community experience to the job are just two of the reasons why I am the best candidate for the job," Saladino said.
Saladino is a lifelong resident of Massapequa, where he has been active in the community as a member of the Massapequa Kiwanis Club, where he received the award of "Kiwanian of the Year," a member of the Sons of Italy-Columbus Lodge, a former trustee of the Massapequa Historical Society, and co-founder of the Massapequa Anti-Graffiti Involvement Committee.
Saladino studied at Tulane University and holds a master's degree from the New York Institute of Technology. Previously, he had a career in broadcast journalism, working as a news anchor and broadcaster for television and radio stations including WNYG, WALK, WLIW and NEWS 12. Most recently, he was the director of operations for the Town of Oyster Bay, and formerly served as executive assistant for the Town of Hempstead.